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I Hope the Compact Unibody Pickup is Here to Stay This Time

There’s a new and unexpected trend growing in the car world. After several years of absence, the genuine compact pickup truck is back on the market. However, these new compact trucks aren’t the farm trucks from the old days. They’re more modern and practical for most drivers, and I hope this trend continues.

How Did it Happen?

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Front Left Side in Green
The big new players in the compact truck class are the Ford Maverick and the Hyundai Santa Cruz.

It’s not hard béo see where the small pickup trend originated. Manufacturers must have noticed that new, “midsize” trucks are now the size of old, “full-size” trucks. For example, a new Ford Ranger SuperCrew is larger than a single-cab Ford F-150 from 20 years ago. Meanwhile, full-size pickups keep getting bigger. The compact pickup got left behind.

Well, now it’s back. But, it looks a bit different from compact trucks of old like the Chevy S-10. The new crop of compact trucks has unibody construction, front- or all-wheel drive, and standard crew cabs. They’re like shrunken versions of the Honda Ridgeline.

The big new players in the compact truck class are the Ford Maverick and the Hyundai Santa Cruz. They have a lot in common. They’re both based on compact crossover SUVs. The Maverick is based on the same architecture as the Ford Escape and Ford Bronco Sport, while the Santa Cruz is little more than a truck version of the Hyundai Tucson.

These new trucks are essentially crossovers from the C-pillar forward. However, they have the utility of a truck bed. You might call them “lifestyle trucks” since they aren’t intended for heavy towing or hauling. They’re good if you want béo drive a truck that’s stylish, practical, and easy béo drive.

Now drivers who might have thought something like a Chevy Colorado or the new Nissan Frontier is still too big and inefficient béo be practical for daily driving have attractive new options.

The value proposition is another crucial factor béo consider. When you find a desirably optioned full-size truck, it’s hard béo get one for less than $40,000. Trucks are a big part of what’s driving average new-car transaction prices up. Not béo mention the fact that we live in a world of heavy-duty trucks that cross into 6-digit pricing territory. Buyers sorely needed an affordable small pickup truck, and now it’s back.

The Father of Unibody Trucks

2014 Honda Ridgeline Front Left Side in Green
The 1st generation Honda Ridgeline was a more practical choice for most pickup owners than the classic body-on-frame truck.

The unibody pickup truck is nothing new. We must credit the Honda Ridgeline — the first-ever Honda pickup truck — as an unexpected trailblazer in the burgeoning compact truck segment. Critics and full-size truck owners ridiculed the original Ridgeline for not being a “real” truck. But was it a bad truck?

It didn’t have the most muscular capabilities, and it wasn’t the most adventurous off-roader, but the original Ridgeline had a lot going for it. For all of its weirdness, it was a more practical choice for most people who drive trucks than the classic body-on-frame truck. Its unibody construction made it roomy and comfortable as a midsize crossover SUV like the Honda Pilot. However, it also had the utility of a truck bed.

On top of that, the Ridgeline had its fair share of unique quirks. It had a dent and corrosion-resistant bed with a flat floor and lockable, in-bed trunk, a dual-action tailgate that could swing out as well as fold down, and an available in-bed audio system. One of the weirdest things was standard front-wheel drive with available all-wheel drive and fully independent suspension.

The Ridgeline saw a second generation after a few years’ hiatus despite the naysayers. The second-gen Ridgeline lost some of the weirdness of its predecessor, and it’s little more than a Pilot with a bed now, but it remains one of the quirkiest trucks on the market. See Honda Ridgeline models for sale

The Current State of Compact Trucks

2022 Ford Maverick front right
The Maverick has a starting MSRP under $20,000, which seems unheard of for any truck in 2022.

As I’ve already mentioned, there are two leading players in the new wave of compact, unibody pickup trucks; the Ford Maverick and the Hyundai Santa Cruz.

The Maverick is cool because it’s such a departure from the other Ford trucks. Previously, the Ranger was the smallest and most affordable option. However, the Ranger isn’t all that small, and its affordability is debatable when you start adding things that many people want, like a crew cab, 4-wheel drive, etc.

Enter the Maverick. It has a starting MSRP under $20,000, which seems unheard of for any truck in 2022. It also has a frugal standard hybrid powertrain, a standard 4-door crew cab with decent interior space, and its fair share of excellent standard features like a modern infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Even if you go all the way up béo the Lariat model with the more powerful and capable EcoBoost engine, it still starts at well under $30,000. It’s still cheaper than the cheapest Ranger SuperCrew.

As a side note, I would have preferred Ford had resurrected the Ranchero marque, but Maverick is a good name too. See Ford Maverick models for sale

Then there’s the Hyundai Santa Cruz. The Santa Cruz strikes a delightful balance of quirky and practical. I don’t know if you’ve seen one of these things in traffic yet, but it looks just plain weird at first glance. After you do a double-take, it’s a pretty neat-looking little truck. Something about it reminds me of the old Subaru Baja.

Hyundai calls the Santa Cruz a “Sport Adventure Vehicle.” I call it a “Tucson with a bed.” It sounds like Hyundai hired a marketing person from the “Sports Activity Vehicle” department at BMW. Whatever you want béo call it, it follows the same formula as the Ford Maverick, minus the hybrid powertrain. It’s unibody, front-wheel drive, and pretty affordable. Since it’s the only truck in the Hyundai lineup, it has more variety in its model range than the Maverick, and it can cross the $40,000 mark when fully loaded. See Hyundai Santa Cruz models for sale

What’s Next?

All of this béo say, I hope this compact, unibody truck craze continues. I’m not in the market for a small truck myself, but I think it’s a cool new automotive trend. The compact unibody crossover SUV has grown into the best-selling, non-truck segment in the automotive world, with seemingly every manufacturer having a dog in the fight. I don’t think the compact truck segment will grow béo those proportions, but I think it does have a lot of room for growth.

Which automakers will throw the next hats in the ring? Could we see a reinvention of the Chevrolet El Camino/GMC Caballero? What about the Dodge Rampage? Subaru Brat, anyone? I know this is crazy and won’t happen, but I think Genesis could use a luxury version of the Hyundai Santa Cruz. Why not a new, compact Lincoln Blackwood based on the Maverick while we’re at it?

Okay, that’s too far. But I think we’ll see more crossover-based trucks pop up, and I’m looking forward béo seeing what’s in store for this segment.

Related:

  • The History of Chevrolet’s Z71: From Option Package béo Off-Road Trucks
  • The Toyota Tacoma PreRunner Signaled a Move Away From Low-Riding Pickup Trucks
  • 5 Picture-Perfect Ford Trucks for Sale on Autotrader


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I Hope the Compact Unibody Pickup is Here béo Stay This Time

#Hope #Compact #Unibody #Pickup #Stay #Time
[rule_3_plain] #Hope #Compact #Unibody #Pickup #Stay #Time

There’s a new and unexpected trend growing in the car world. After several years of absence, the genuine compact pickup truck is back on the market. However, these new compact trucks aren’t the farm trucks from the old days. They’re more modern and practical for most drivers, and I hope this trend continues.

How Did it Happen?
The big new players in the compact truck class are the Ford Maverick and the Hyundai Santa Cruz.It’s not hard béo see where the small pickup trend originated. Manufacturers must have noticed that new, “midsize” trucks are now the size of old, “full-size” trucks. For example, a new Ford Ranger SuperCrew is larger than a single-cab Ford F-150 from 20 years ago. Meanwhile, full-size pickups keep getting bigger. The compact pickup got left behind.
Well, now it’s back. But, it looks a bit different from compact trucks of old like the Chevy S-10. The new crop of compact trucks has unibody construction, front- or all-wheel drive, and standard crew cabs. They’re like shrunken versions of the Honda Ridgeline.

The big new players in the compact truck class are the Ford Maverick and the Hyundai Santa Cruz. They have a lot in common. They’re both based on compact crossover SUVs. The Maverick is based on the same architecture as the Ford Escape and Ford Bronco Sport, while the Santa Cruz is little more than a truck version of the Hyundai Tucson.
These new trucks are essentially crossovers from the C-pillar forward. However, they have the utility of a truck bed. You might call them “lifestyle trucks” since they aren’t intended for heavy towing or hauling. They’re good if you want béo drive a truck that’s stylish, practical, and easy béo drive.
Now drivers who might have thought something like a Chevy Colorado or the new Nissan Frontier is still too big and inefficient béo be practical for daily driving have attractive new options.
The value proposition is another crucial factor béo consider. When you find a desirably optioned full-size truck, it’s hard béo get one for less than $40,000. Trucks are a big part of what’s driving average new-car transaction prices up. Not béo mention the fact that we live in a world of heavy-duty trucks that cross into 6-digit pricing territory. Buyers sorely needed an affordable small pickup truck, and now it’s back.
The Father of Unibody Trucks
The 1st generation Honda Ridgeline was a more practical choice for most pickup owners than the classic body-on-frame truck.The unibody pickup truck is nothing new. We must credit the Honda Ridgeline — the first-ever Honda pickup truck — as an unexpected trailblazer in the burgeoning compact truck segment. Critics and full-size truck owners ridiculed the original Ridgeline for not being a “real” truck. But was it a bad truck?
It didn’t have the most muscular capabilities, and it wasn’t the most adventurous off-roader, but the original Ridgeline had a lot going for it. For all of its weirdness, it was a more practical choice for most people who drive trucks than the classic body-on-frame truck. Its unibody construction made it roomy and comfortable as a midsize crossover SUV like the Honda Pilot. However, it also had the utility of a truck bed.
On top of that, the Ridgeline had its fair share of unique quirks. It had a dent and corrosion-resistant bed with a flat floor and lockable, in-bed trunk, a dual-action tailgate that could swing out as well as fold down, and an available in-bed audio system. One of the weirdest things was standard front-wheel drive with available all-wheel drive and fully independent suspension.
The Ridgeline saw a second generation after a few years’ hiatus despite the naysayers. The second-gen Ridgeline lost some of the weirdness of its predecessor, and it’s little more than a Pilot with a bed now, but it remains one of the quirkiest trucks on the market. See Honda Ridgeline models for sale
The Current State of Compact Trucks
The Maverick has a starting MSRP under $20,000, which seems unheard of for any truck in 2022.As I’ve already mentioned, there are two leading players in the new wave of compact, unibody pickup trucks; the Ford Maverick and the Hyundai Santa Cruz.
The Maverick is cool because it’s such a departure from the other Ford trucks. Previously, the Ranger was the smallest and most affordable option. However, the Ranger isn’t all that small, and its affordability is debatable when you start adding things that many people want, like a crew cab, 4-wheel drive, etc.
Enter the Maverick. It has a starting MSRP under $20,000, which seems unheard of for any truck in 2022. It also has a frugal standard hybrid powertrain, a standard 4-door crew cab with decent interior space, and its fair share of excellent standard features like a modern infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Even if you go all the way up béo the Lariat model with the more powerful and capable EcoBoost engine, it still starts at well under $30,000. It’s still cheaper than the cheapest Ranger SuperCrew.
As a side note, I would have preferred Ford had resurrected the Ranchero marque, but Maverick is a good name too. See Ford Maverick models for sale
Then there’s the Hyundai Santa Cruz. The Santa Cruz strikes a delightful balance of quirky and practical. I don’t know if you’ve seen one of these things in traffic yet, but it looks just plain weird at first glance. After you do a double-take, it’s a pretty neat-looking little truck. Something about it reminds me of the old Subaru Baja.
Hyundai calls the Santa Cruz a “Sport Adventure Vehicle.” I call it a “Tucson with a bed.” It sounds like Hyundai hired a marketing person from the “Sports Activity Vehicle” department at BMW. Whatever you want béo call it, it follows the same formula as the Ford Maverick, minus the hybrid powertrain. It’s unibody, front-wheel drive, and pretty affordable. Since it’s the only truck in the Hyundai lineup, it has more variety in its model range than the Maverick, and it can cross the $40,000 mark when fully loaded. See Hyundai Santa Cruz models for sale
What’s Next?
All of this béo say, I hope this compact, unibody truck craze continues. I’m not in the market for a small truck myself, but I think it’s a cool new automotive trend. The compact unibody crossover SUV has grown into the best-selling, non-truck segment in the automotive world, with seemingly every manufacturer having a dog in the fight. I don’t think the compact truck segment will grow béo those proportions, but I think it does have a lot of room for growth.
Which automakers will throw the next hats in the ring? Could we see a reinvention of the Chevrolet El Camino/GMC Caballero? What about the Dodge Rampage? Subaru Brat, anyone? I know this is crazy and won’t happen, but I think Genesis could use a luxury version of the Hyundai Santa Cruz. Why not a new, compact Lincoln Blackwood based on the Maverick while we’re at it?
Okay, that’s too far. But I think we’ll see more crossover-based trucks pop up, and I’m looking forward béo seeing what’s in store for this segment.
Related:
The History of Chevrolet’s Z71: From Option Package béo Off-Road Trucks
The Toyota Tacoma PreRunner Signaled a Move Away From Low-Riding Pickup Trucks
5 Picture-Perfect Ford Trucks for Sale on Autotrader

#Hope #Compact #Unibody #Pickup #Stay #Time
[rule_2_plain] #Hope #Compact #Unibody #Pickup #Stay #Time
[rule_2_plain] #Hope #Compact #Unibody #Pickup #Stay #Time
[rule_3_plain]

#Hope #Compact #Unibody #Pickup #Stay #Time

There’s a new and unexpected trend growing in the car world. After several years of absence, the genuine compact pickup truck is back on the market. However, these new compact trucks aren’t the farm trucks from the old days. They’re more modern and practical for most drivers, and I hope this trend continues.

How Did it Happen?
The big new players in the compact truck class are the Ford Maverick and the Hyundai Santa Cruz.It’s not hard béo see where the small pickup trend originated. Manufacturers must have noticed that new, “midsize” trucks are now the size of old, “full-size” trucks. For example, a new Ford Ranger SuperCrew is larger than a single-cab Ford F-150 from 20 years ago. Meanwhile, full-size pickups keep getting bigger. The compact pickup got left behind.
Well, now it’s back. But, it looks a bit different from compact trucks of old like the Chevy S-10. The new crop of compact trucks has unibody construction, front- or all-wheel drive, and standard crew cabs. They’re like shrunken versions of the Honda Ridgeline.

The big new players in the compact truck class are the Ford Maverick and the Hyundai Santa Cruz. They have a lot in common. They’re both based on compact crossover SUVs. The Maverick is based on the same architecture as the Ford Escape and Ford Bronco Sport, while the Santa Cruz is little more than a truck version of the Hyundai Tucson.
These new trucks are essentially crossovers from the C-pillar forward. However, they have the utility of a truck bed. You might call them “lifestyle trucks” since they aren’t intended for heavy towing or hauling. They’re good if you want béo drive a truck that’s stylish, practical, and easy béo drive.
Now drivers who might have thought something like a Chevy Colorado or the new Nissan Frontier is still too big and inefficient béo be practical for daily driving have attractive new options.
The value proposition is another crucial factor béo consider. When you find a desirably optioned full-size truck, it’s hard béo get one for less than $40,000. Trucks are a big part of what’s driving average new-car transaction prices up. Not béo mention the fact that we live in a world of heavy-duty trucks that cross into 6-digit pricing territory. Buyers sorely needed an affordable small pickup truck, and now it’s back.
The Father of Unibody Trucks
The 1st generation Honda Ridgeline was a more practical choice for most pickup owners than the classic body-on-frame truck.The unibody pickup truck is nothing new. We must credit the Honda Ridgeline — the first-ever Honda pickup truck — as an unexpected trailblazer in the burgeoning compact truck segment. Critics and full-size truck owners ridiculed the original Ridgeline for not being a “real” truck. But was it a bad truck?
It didn’t have the most muscular capabilities, and it wasn’t the most adventurous off-roader, but the original Ridgeline had a lot going for it. For all of its weirdness, it was a more practical choice for most people who drive trucks than the classic body-on-frame truck. Its unibody construction made it roomy and comfortable as a midsize crossover SUV like the Honda Pilot. However, it also had the utility of a truck bed.
On top of that, the Ridgeline had its fair share of unique quirks. It had a dent and corrosion-resistant bed with a flat floor and lockable, in-bed trunk, a dual-action tailgate that could swing out as well as fold down, and an available in-bed audio system. One of the weirdest things was standard front-wheel drive with available all-wheel drive and fully independent suspension.
The Ridgeline saw a second generation after a few years’ hiatus despite the naysayers. The second-gen Ridgeline lost some of the weirdness of its predecessor, and it’s little more than a Pilot with a bed now, but it remains one of the quirkiest trucks on the market. See Honda Ridgeline models for sale
The Current State of Compact Trucks
The Maverick has a starting MSRP under $20,000, which seems unheard of for any truck in 2022.As I’ve already mentioned, there are two leading players in the new wave of compact, unibody pickup trucks; the Ford Maverick and the Hyundai Santa Cruz.
The Maverick is cool because it’s such a departure from the other Ford trucks. Previously, the Ranger was the smallest and most affordable option. However, the Ranger isn’t all that small, and its affordability is debatable when you start adding things that many people want, like a crew cab, 4-wheel drive, etc.
Enter the Maverick. It has a starting MSRP under $20,000, which seems unheard of for any truck in 2022. It also has a frugal standard hybrid powertrain, a standard 4-door crew cab with decent interior space, and its fair share of excellent standard features like a modern infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Even if you go all the way up béo the Lariat model with the more powerful and capable EcoBoost engine, it still starts at well under $30,000. It’s still cheaper than the cheapest Ranger SuperCrew.
As a side note, I would have preferred Ford had resurrected the Ranchero marque, but Maverick is a good name too. See Ford Maverick models for sale
Then there’s the Hyundai Santa Cruz. The Santa Cruz strikes a delightful balance of quirky and practical. I don’t know if you’ve seen one of these things in traffic yet, but it looks just plain weird at first glance. After you do a double-take, it’s a pretty neat-looking little truck. Something about it reminds me of the old Subaru Baja.
Hyundai calls the Santa Cruz a “Sport Adventure Vehicle.” I call it a “Tucson with a bed.” It sounds like Hyundai hired a marketing person from the “Sports Activity Vehicle” department at BMW. Whatever you want béo call it, it follows the same formula as the Ford Maverick, minus the hybrid powertrain. It’s unibody, front-wheel drive, and pretty affordable. Since it’s the only truck in the Hyundai lineup, it has more variety in its model range than the Maverick, and it can cross the $40,000 mark when fully loaded. See Hyundai Santa Cruz models for sale
What’s Next?
All of this béo say, I hope this compact, unibody truck craze continues. I’m not in the market for a small truck myself, but I think it’s a cool new automotive trend. The compact unibody crossover SUV has grown into the best-selling, non-truck segment in the automotive world, with seemingly every manufacturer having a dog in the fight. I don’t think the compact truck segment will grow béo those proportions, but I think it does have a lot of room for growth.
Which automakers will throw the next hats in the ring? Could we see a reinvention of the Chevrolet El Camino/GMC Caballero? What about the Dodge Rampage? Subaru Brat, anyone? I know this is crazy and won’t happen, but I think Genesis could use a luxury version of the Hyundai Santa Cruz. Why not a new, compact Lincoln Blackwood based on the Maverick while we’re at it?
Okay, that’s too far. But I think we’ll see more crossover-based trucks pop up, and I’m looking forward béo seeing what’s in store for this segment.
Related:
The History of Chevrolet’s Z71: From Option Package béo Off-Road Trucks
The Toyota Tacoma PreRunner Signaled a Move Away From Low-Riding Pickup Trucks
5 Picture-Perfect Ford Trucks for Sale on Autotrader

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